Go Yell It on the Mountain: Iceland Will Blast Your Scream Into the Wilderness

Iceland's Skógafoss waterfall wants you to wail your heart out.
Iceland's Skógafoss waterfall wants you to wail your heart out. / Martin Falbisoner, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Unless you live on several acres of land without a neighbor in sight, you might not be able to let out all your anxieties with a nice, loud scream into the wilderness. But thanks to Iceland’s tourism board, you can do it virtually.

As Condé Nast Traveler reports, Iceland has set up a special website called “Looks Like You Need to Let It Out” where you can record an ear-splitting shriek to be blared on an outdoor speaker in Iceland. There are seven speakers, each placed in a different remote area of the country, and you decide which one bears witness to your booming voice. You can send your scream to South Iceland’s formidable waterfall Skógafoss, for example, or to Festerfjall, an eroded subglacial volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Psychotherapist Arthur Janov came up with the idea of working through trauma or stress by screaming in 1970. He called it “primal therapy,” and the technique became popular among celebrities like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The primal scream definitely isn’t a universally accepted method among psychologists—especially for treating serious trauma—but plenty of people can attest to feeling a certain emotional release when giving a good shout after a particularly stressful day, week, or months-long quarantine.

“We aren't equipped to deal with the feelings that we are having and, because we aren't moving as much, there's a physical build up of emotion, which can produce blockages and things like depression and anxiety,” Zoë Aston, a psychotherapist and mental health consultant who worked on Iceland’s initiative, told Condé Nast Traveler. “The venting allows that emotional blockage to shift, so that the part of the mind that has been in survival mode for the last several months is then freed up to make really good decisions about what happens moving forward.”

Record your own scream (or just listen to other people’s high-pitched wails and guttural groans) here.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]